All the Benefits of Pour-Over Brewing
You might be asking yourself, why should I even bother with this cumbersome pour-over brewing process? My uncle Mike gave me his old coffee machine and so far I have been enjoying my coffee at the press of a button every day!
Well, nothing against uncle Mike, but the coffee you get from a pour-over brew will be miles ahead in terms of taste and fulfillment than any standard filter coffee a machine could produce.
Why is that you ask? Let’s dig into it!
We will take a deep dive into the different types of coffee and what kinds of roasts are out there in a future blog post. For now, all you should know is that the highest quality of beans available is ‘single origin’ coffee beans. This means that all of the beans are of a single type of coffee (for example Arabica) and from a single farm or region. Cheaper coffee is usually a blend of all kinds of different types. Single-origin is the best quality of coffee available.
To really get the best results you should try and get the best quality of coffee you can. Especially for our favorite kind of brewing, the pour-over brew, quality matters as it will yield the best tasting cup of coffee. If you buy very cheap beans you might have some trouble telling the difference between a simple machine brew and a pour-over brew. That is because these types of beans are usually roasted heavily and sometimes even include flavor enhancements to hide the bean’s undesirable taste.
We recommend checking online for a local roastery and going there in person to talk to the sales staff and hear about their sourcing and roasting methods. That way you can support your local businesses, get the best quality coffee beans you can, and even learn something new while you are doing it.
Pro Tip: Sample a few varieties instead of choosing one kind of coffee. That way you can find out which regions and varieties you prefer. My personal favorite is Yellow Bourbon from Brazil, which yields a smooth cup with notes of chocolate and brown sugar.
Okay, so we’ve got ourselves some fine single origin beans and the cup to beat comes from uncle Mike's old coffee machine.
While coffee at the press of a button seems like a perfectly sensible thing, what happens is that you give up all of the control over the brewing process. To extract all of that delicious flavor from your beans it is not enough to just pour hot water over the beans until the tank is empty. Coffee brewed in a machine might yield a so-so cup of coffee if you put in the right beans, but it is done without precision or nuances, the personal nature is lost even though your coffee has so much more potential!
With a manual pour-over brew you have control over every aspect of the brewing process (see our complete pour over guide here for some brewing tips and tricks). You can integrate blooming to release carbon dioxide in the beans which improves the aroma. You can pour the water in stages which helps to extract all the right flavors while keeping in the bitter ones. You also have full control over the temperature of the water, which is especially important for milder roasts so you don’t burn the coffee grounds.
“But wait, what about espresso? Isn’t that the best kind of coffee available?” Well, I guess it mainly depends on taste first of all. In our opinion a pour-over brew is preferable because it tends to produce a more complex flavor in your cup. That is because more water is allowed to absorb coffee oils and fragrances, so you can better taste the different nuances of the coffee. The taste is cleaner and smoother with much less acidity and produces a milder mouthfeel. Finally, only minimal equipment is needed, you won’t need an expensive espresso machine to get a great cup of pour-over coffee.
Lastly I want to talk about a bonus benefit that is often overlooked: Mindfulness. We all have busy lives, taking a moment to relax and just focus on one thing is something very precious that we personally treasure immensely. Yes, coffee at the press of a button is easy and convenient, but really taking your time with the brewing process, focusing on that perfect cup, is a welcome break that can help to wind down and start the day with a relaxed and focused mindset. Instead of thinking about your daily coffee break as a necessity, you make it a ritual, a meditative session to start your day off on the right foot.
In the end we don’t judge on how you like to enjoy your coffee. If your old coffee machine makes you happy, we are happy for you as well! Why not try something new once in a while though? Trust us, investing in some basic pour-over equipment will elevate your coffee break to the next level. Even if you aren’t drinking it every single day, it’s also great for that special Sunday morning coffee or when you have some friends over.
If you are ready to go on the pour-over journey with us, have a look at our pour-over gear right here.